7:00 Movie Hour — The Evil Dead

Some days I have a 9:00 Raid.  So I have to start a movie by about 7:00 if I’m going to fit one in before the raid, hence the name.  Admittedly, if it isn’t raid night then I may start the movie anytime.

 

I know I saw the Evil Dead way back when.  Not in 1981 when it was released, I was only 11 then, but somewhere between 1987 and 1991 mostly likely. What I really remember is that I was with a friend at someone else’s home.  Someone I didn’t know.  It was someone she knew.  There were too many people in too small a living room and they had Chihuahuas.  I remember being uncomfortable the entire time. 

 

Possessed Linda

Possessed Linda

On the whole, this is a pretty bad film and I don’t see why it is so popular.  The second and third are much better as they bring out comedy elements missing from the first one.   I love The Evil Dead: Army of Darkness.  This one fell flat for me.  Here are a few reasons why.

 

  1. There is a reason the only actor from this movie anyone knows is Bruce Campbell.  He was the only one who could act.  The woman playing his sister, Cheryl, was passable.  Ellen Sandweiss, I guess her name is vaguely familiar.  But if I hadn’t looked her up, I would have said, “yeah, sounds familiar, can’t think of who she is though”.  The woman who played Linda must have been picked because she could giggle maniacally. 
  2. Discontinuity.  There was SO much of it.  Just to name a couple off the top of my head: After attempting to bury a body, Ash gets a geyser of blood sprayed in his face.  Upon getting up from the ground, his face is mostly clean.  Cheryl goes outside to investigate and the key ring, which had been taken inside with them all, is suddenly on the top of the door frame again.  A tree branch breaks a window in the living room that evening, a couple hours from morning, Ash shoots through the window that is suddenly not broken out anymore. 
  3. Storyline got a little jumbled.  Or maybe the scenes were out of order when they assembled them.  But Cheryl gets possessed enough to perform some automatic writing and draws the book before they actually find the book and recordings and play the incantation that wakes up the demons. 
  4. Special Effects.  I’m usually pretty good at watching special effects for the particular time in which a film is made.  The inaccurately spraying blood didn’t bother me.  The strange, semen-like white stuff which followed the blood was strange but I ran with it.  It was the stuff like over-cooked oatmeal that really snapped me out of being able to accept the rest of it.  It is strange to realize it was the number one, splatter film at the time.  The utter lack of realism makes it easy to watch. Too much realism is why I don’t like splatter films in general. 
  5. Some of the injuries were real as Raimi felt actors who were in real pain and suffering would convey horror better.  This seems a cop-out and, to me, would indicate poor acting skills if they need real pain to get the point across.  Oh, wait, I already noted that the most of the actors couldn’t act.  No wonder he tried to torture his cast.

So, now that I covered what didn’t work for me I’ll move on to what I liked.

 

  1. Bruce Campbell. He was pretty to look at.
  2. The over-all story idea.
  3. The nod to archeology.
  4. The knife.
  5. The plant rape scene was probably the best done scene in the film.
  6. The magnifying glass necklace.  A very pretty trinket but a strange pendant to get a girlfriend.
  7. The brief appearance of the chainsaw. 
  8. Bruce Campbell screaming as something rushes towards him. 

 

Yeah, now I need to get my hands on the second film.  I think the scene I was trying to remember must be in part two.  I know it wasn’t in Army of Darkness.

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8 Responses to “7:00 Movie Hour — The Evil Dead”

  1. I’m with you – the first one of these wasn’t that great (to me too). The second was a superior “remake” of the first one and Army of Darkness was just, kind of, funny.

    • The comedy was increased a bit in the second one, which picks up after One left off. They they upped the comedy more for Army of D, realizing the niche for these was Horror Comedy. I am interested in seeing how the remake of The Evil Dead turns out. I think it is slated for 2013.

  2. I’d forgotten exactly how pretty Bruce is in this film ’til I started with the research for the new film. Nice.

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